How a car salesman launched an export company out of his house (and is now doing $50M is sales)

My whole goal here is to reach outside of Silicon Valley, outside of the stores that you already know and show you how other people are building businesses. You won’t believe this:

Today’s guest says he started his company from his house and by selling cars online, he built a multimillion dollar business.

I invited here to talk about how he did it. His name is Nate Huskins. He is the founder of Marshal Group, an automotive export company that resells cars that are sold in the US to overseas buyers.

Nate Huskins

Nate Huskins

Marshal Group

Nathan Huskins is the President of Marshal Group LLC which is an automotive export company for new vehicles sold in the U.S.

 

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Full Interview Transcript

Andrew: Hey there, Freedom Fighters. Hey, hey, hey. Hi. I’m Andrew Warner, founder of Mixergy.com, abrupt hand thrower, and interviewer who talks to entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses. My whole goal here is to reach outside of Silicon Valley, outside of the stores that you already know and show you how other people are building businesses. Stores that you might not have had heard of, otherwise, so, that you can deconstruct them, learn from them, and then take what you’ve learned, and build your own company. That’s the mission here. To have you learn then go build your own company.

Hopefully, after you do you’ll come back here, and do your own interview, and pass it on to others. You won’t believe today’s guest. Today’s guest says he started his company from home by selling cars online. He built it into a multimillion dollar business. I invited here to talk about how he did it. His name is Nate Huskins. He is the founder of MarshalGroup, and automotive export company that resells cars that are sold in the U.S. to overseas buyers.

They take cars that are in the U.S., and they sell them to overseas buyers. This interview is sponsored by andrewswelcomegate.com. If you’re on the business of not just getting hits on your site, but actually getting email addresses of the people who come to your site you got to check out andrewswelcomegate.com. Later on I’ll give you more details, but you can peak ahead. Go to andrewswelcomegate.com. Nate, welcome.

Nate: Welcome. Thank you.

Andrew: I’m on your site right now on exportusautos.com. I’m looking at its traffic using a tool called similar web. I see you have hundreds of hits. Not thousands, not hundreds of thousands, but hundreds of hits. How does a site that gets so few hits do millions of dollars?

Nate: We rely more on our referrals, and repeat customers. Not so much on new traffic.

Andrew: I get that a lot from people where they say it’s referrals. Usually, that means I’m not telling you, or something shakeys going on, but in your case we talked a little bit about how your business works before we started, and I’m guessing it’s because of the kind of customer that you have. You don’t deal with retail customers do you?

Nate: No. No. We just deal with other dealers like myself, and brokers. They may buy two, five, ten units at one time, and then resell them to their individual buyers.

Andrew: I see. You’re not expecting a guy to come in off of Google, and buy car for himself. That’s not the way it works. It’s mostly a dealer overseas.

Nate: Correct. Yup.

Andrew: Why do they do it?

Nate: Well, there’s multiple reasons. Maybe they don’t get the vehicle there as quick as we do. They may not get the vehicle at all. America’s the second largest car market behind China now. Let’s say Brazil, maybe they have a Chevy brand, but maybe they get a pick up truck, and a corvette, and maybe five, or six lines, where Chevy here as maybe 30 lines. They may want the Camaro. Since the Camaro came out here a year before it did in Brazil so, they wanted to have the cars first so, they buy from . . . [??] . . .

Andrew: I see. Instead of waiting they buy from the U.S. I’m looking right here at your website. There’s a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Coup price 63,825 dollars.

Nate: Right. That’s the Z.L. Ones. That’s a special edition car, as well.

Andrew: What would that sell in the U.S.? Sell for?

Nate: Around that price. You might get a small discount.

Andrew: Why do they buy from you instead of just going out to a local, and by the way, the whole interview is not going to be about why is this, and why is that. It’s not a competition, but I’m blown away by this business. I have to understand it before we understand how you got here. Why do they buy from you instead of going to the local dealer, or firing up their browser, and buying from any number of other sites.

Nate: Pretty much any manufacture that has the network of dealers, they have rules, or restrictions of what they can, or cannot do. A car markets, they’re allowed to sell for export because, example, Chevy, or whoever else might already have their brand in that country so, they don’t want conflict. Basically, it’s a gray market industry where supplying the vehicles . . .

Andrew: I see.

Nate: Outside what they want. Caterpillar does the same thing, or steel chainsaw. It doesn’t matter. Ralph Lauren, Polo. Costco uses the same kind of stuff, as well. They may go to a manufacturer, and say that they want this product. Then they’ll say no. We don’t want it in your mass market. We’d rather keep to our distribution the way we have it. A company like Costco, or other companies. I hate to keep using their name, but they’ll find a way to get it, and put in their store because they want the brand.

Andrew: I see. You know what? My dad used to own a sneaker store, and because he was new he couldn’t get Nike to sell him sneakers but if you don’t have Nike sneakers then people don’t consider you a real sneaker store at least in the part of Brooklyn that he was in so he would go to other stores and buy their sneakers at below retail but above wholesale and then he could have the Nike shoes in the store which would then allow people to walk in and hopefully he could sell them on something that he had a direct connection to buy instead of the Nike and he could make full price on it. I get that. All right. How much money are you making on this business? I mean revenue.

Nate: Last year we did about fifty million.

Andrew: Isn’t it great that I have this job that I can ask people stuff like this like how much money did you make? When did you lose your virginity I asked a guy in the past. You could just ask whatever as long as you have this mike.

Nate: Yes.

Andrew: If I was dating I would have brought this mike on dates and started asking all kinds of questions. Fifty million in sales. Is this the kind of business where you do fifty million dollars in sales and you lose money or are you guys profitable?

Nate: We’ve always been profitable.

Andrew: Always. Have you made more than a million dollars a year yet?

Nate: Not yet.

Andrew: Not yet. Wow. The margins are really thin.

Nate: The margins are small. It’s a very competitive business and there’s actually quite a bit of people that do it. Everybody can see the pricing so it’s just a matter of, it’s a service really that I’m providing.

Andrew: Yes. I see what you mean. I immediately copied the name of the car that we talked about a moment ago and I plugged it into Google and then I could see Admin’s website immediately comes up and shows it. $59,383.00 is what it goes for. I see Yahoo Autos, Car and Driver and all these other sites where I can go do more research and buy it. All right. I can see why the margins are so thin but I’m also amazed that you built it up so big in such a short period of time. When did you launch?

Nate: October, 2007.

Andrew: 2007. And you’re a guy who had cars in his blood almost. Your dad worked at a dealership, right?

Nate: He did so I grew up in it. I started washing cars at the dealership at twelve and I’ve been in and around it my whole life.

Andrew: You know, Nate? One of my dreams was to sell cars because I feel like car salesmen are some of the best salesmen out there. They take a stranger off the street who often walks in and says, “I just want to look. I don’t want to buy”. A stranger who is often scared of them and they turn that stranger into a customer who buys not like a hundred dollar product, you know. If at the end of this program someone goes and buys my program it might be twenty-five or two hundred bucks but they get these strangers to buy tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of stuff and drive it out. Do you remember one of the cool sales techniques that you learned from being there and watching these guys?

Nate: I actually was a different type of sales person because I wasn’t that pushy guy and my managers would get on me and say, “Close that sale” and I was more the offer everything you can. Give them the best you can and they’ll buy. I sold for about six years at a dealership and I got Salesman of the Year five out of six years. I was in the first year I started.

Andrew: So give me a tip because I can’t walk away from this conversation thinking that the only answer is not to push and not to sell but to just let people buy and they will. I know you must have been doing something else, Nate. What else did you do that got people to buy?

Nate: Product knowledge.

Andrew: You knew everything? How does product knowledge help?

Nate: What’s that?

Andrew: How does product knowledge help when you’re selling?

Nate: Well like you said on there. You just googled that car and there’s ten websites that pop up. Okay. If I’m a consumer now I’m going to buy that new Chevy Camaro. I’m going to research the crap out of that car. I’m actually going to know more than the salesman who is selling it to me because he’s got to know 45-50 to 100 cars depending on where he’s working at but he has to know a lot of different cars but he’s just trying to know the base limits to get over so when somebody comes in, they may come in and ask a question and they’re only asking the question to see if they are going to lie to them. They already know the answer. They just want to see if you’re . . .

Andrew: They’re testing you.

Nate: Yes. Liar car salesman is what we always use to joke because that’s kind of a . . .

Andrew: I see. So by them asking you a question about the car, they’re not testing your knowledge necessarily. They are testing more than that, your veracity. Are you really going to tell them the truth about the data or are you going to lie to them and that they can use as a black and white test of whether you are truthful or not.

Nate: I believe that’s a lot of what people would do.

Andrew: And so you would know it. What kind of stuff would you know?

Nate: Crazy stuff that you wouldn’t even . . . like I could look at a car and by the antenna because if they changed the next [??] antenna or if they changed the body line. The moulding down the side. They had stopped at the door and the year after they went on to the bed on the truck or something. I would know these crazy details about cars but there’s no way you could tell unless you just absolutely knew these little things and gas mileage, and horse powers and torques and engine size and this and that. I mean just up and down. All about the cars. The sad part is I knew all that then. Now I don’t know any of it.

Andrew: And you don’t need to know any of it now. But, you know, I remember actually going to a seminar by a guy who used to sell shoes and he said you have to know everything about your product. I said, come on. Who cares about shoes? Why do you need to know that? And he’d say, you know, when I used to sell shoes, I knew that the foot produced a liter of sweat a day. I forgot the amount was, but he knew it and he threw it out there. A liter of sweat.

So, if I were showing the shoe to someone, I would tell them, your foot is going to produce a liter of sweat a day, do you want it to be in one of these shoes that holds the sweat in or one of these shoes that I really recommend that breathes and by allowing that sweat to really evaporate, your foot will feel healthier at the end of the day and it won’t smell when you take it of. And he said that’s why you need to know knowledge. So, know the details. Is that what we’re talking about here? So you can blow peoples’ minds away?

Nate: That exactly. I mean, I started out young, 18 years old, selling side. You know, we live in the Midwest. We get these farmers that come in and, you know, they were just going to show me up. They were really going to just have fun with me. You know. And so they’d ask me these questions, you know, and they would get blown away and actually those ended up being my best customers and sent me the best referrals. These guys who thought they were just going to chew me up a live. And those were, you know, some of them are my friends today. So.

Andrew: I see that. You’ve got to tell people about the mic you’re wearing. You have a mic on your shirt. Why? I think we just lost the connection there for a moment. There we go. You have a mic on your shirt, Nate. Why?

Nate: I was watching your videos and I could hear a little of an echo and so I literally just ran to Radio Shack and picked it up. I’ve been watching your videos but just last minute when I got it. It’s. So I just. I don’t know. Just perfection by Nate.

Andrew: That’s what I wanted to bring up. You watched interviews in preparation for this. You paid attention to the details and that’s why you knew, for example, that a mic what was a Lavaliere mic that was on your shirt is clearer. This is the way that you are. Am I now taking what you said about cars and spreading it to the rest of your life and imagining that this is the way that you are everywhere?

Nate: Um, to a point. I get too busy. So, I can’t stay on the details like I wish I could, but if I could, I would definitely.

Andrew: So, when I ask you about your revenues at the top, that didn’t shock you. You were prepared?

Nate: Correct.

Andrew: If I ask you, are you a millionaire now from selling cars? Like do you have cash, a million in the bank. Would that shock you?

Nate: If you ask me, no. Do I have one million? No.

Andrew: No, not yet. The business, do you know how much it’s worth? You don’t.

Nate: I don’t. I’ve never really had it. I mean we do gross revenue time whatever, net revenue, so. You know, this business is, it’s who you know and its relationships. So, unlike an app or something, a product you might sell, I think it would be harder to sell and get a try market value of it.

Andrew: But you’re expanding, you’re bringing people on. We’ll talk about how you got to where you go to today. Let’s go back just a moment into the beginning. You were selling. You then got into eBay. How did you start selling cars on eBay?

Nate: So, I was working at the dealership and this is 2004, something like, and I don’t even think eBay. Well there might have been eBay motors but probably was but there wasn’t a lot of dealerships on there. It’s still fairly small. I thought, you know, let me try. Let me get on there.

You know, it just started to slowly take off and I really found a niche in business owners who didn’t want to go to dealers or business owners, just busy, white collar people who didn’t want to go to the dealership. Because you know every time you go to the dealership, you know, it’s three hours. You’ve got to sit in the chair and wait forever. The guy in the back, does the paperwork. It’s just a pain in the butt. So these people would just, I’d just hand deliver the car, not hand deliver them, but I would ship them the car right to their office. The paperwork would go there. The car would show up.

Andrew: I see. That’s why people preferred eBay. They wanted all the convenience of shopping from home for cars.

Nate: Right.

Andrew: How would they make sure that the cars actually worked the way that they were supposed to and that they stood up to tests?

Nate: It was a trust thing. It was a trust thing. I sold a whole lot of new cars. So, new cars are what they are.

Andrew: Gotcha.

Nate: But I would sell used stuff to, but they would just rely on, you know, on what I told them or pictures. You know, I took a lot of pictures back in the day. I think Auto Trader would only allow eight pictures because it wasn’t that big a deal at the time. So I would take 50 pictures and put them on a different website, and then refer people to that website so they have 50 pictures. And I was like only one of the few reporters in the country that would take pictures of new cars because everybody assumed it’s a new car. They know what it looks like. Why do I need to take a picture of it? But, you know, it’s a visual thing especially here on the Internet and you’re not at the dealership looking at the car.

So I sold a lot more cars just by taking pictures. That’s it of new cars.

Andrew: And suddenly you got someone from Iceland reaching out to you. What happened?

Nate: Yeah, I sold an Escalade to a guy down in Florida and traded in an F-150. I brought that up to Illinois here, put that on eBay, and I actually had a couple people bid on cars overseas before and they didn’t go through with it. So I actually changed all my eBay ads to say, “No outside sales in the United States.”

Andrew: Why?

Nate: Why, because I had a couple people buying on eBay, but then they would back out overseas. Like I grew up in a town of like 8,000 people, a small town, a farm town, and honestly I’d never traveled outside of the U.S. I barely traveled in the U.S. and the rest of the world was like doesn’t really exist, like I didn’t even understand.

So I was literally shutting down the rest of the world thinking why are these people wasting my time.

Andrew: [laughs]

Nate: Like I tried to get rid of them honestly. And so this guy, he wins …

Andrew: He big any way.

Nate: I would always end my auctions like 10 o’clock at night roughly, some eight o’clock, something like that so the people were home so that they could bid on the car.

Andrew: Which is awful for someone in Iceland.

Nate: Correct. So he calls me after he wins, and he’s like, “You know, it’s 2:00 a.m. here”, whatever time he said. He’s like, “Okay, send me your wire information, and I’ll wire that money in the morning.” And I said, “Okay”, you know. And I was like, “Whatever.” I was mad because I knew I was going to have to relist the car and contact eBay and get the keys back and all that stuff.

He called me the next morning and said, “Hey, did you get that money? I was like, “I don’t know. I’ll check.” I’m really blowing the guy off.

Andrew: You’re assuming that it’s not going to happen.

Nate: Yeah, like, okay. This guy, now he wants to be a scammer and act like he sent the money so I ship him a car or something.

Andrew: That’s another issue, yeah.

Nate: Yeah, I mean, I go upstairs and ask the accountant and she’s like, “Yeah, we got the money. And so it just totally turned my world around. So I started Googling, you know, how many cars are exported per year and I think that year it was 800,000. I’m like wow, this is great.

Andrew: And the reason that you had a bookkeeper is not that the business was yours and already set up. You were selling out of the dealership, your dad’s dealership.

Nate: He was the general manager. It wasn’t his dealership.

Andrew: Right.

Nate: But it was a new car dealership so there was 15 sales people and office people and all that.

Andrew: Gotcha. Is that one of the reasons why you became a top salesman there because you were willing to sell online when others didn’t understand it as well.

Nate: It helped definitely. I mean, I would do things that a lot of guys wouldn’t do. In Illinois you can’t sell a car on Sunday, so Saturday night I would actually go around to every car, like every third car I would put a business card under the windshield and just have it out there for the weekend. So when people were out on the weekend, they would take my card. I would go out there on Sunday in my jeans and act like I was doing something else and start talking to people just in general conversation.

People would talk to you because the reason they’re there on Sunday is because they don’t want to talk to a salesman, so I would just in general. I sold cars that way. I always did a little extra on that.

Andrew: That’s great. All right. So now you discover this whole new part of the world that you had almost written off or pretty much written off, and you realized it’s bigger than it seemed at first. Hundreds of thousands of cars are going overseas to foreign buyers, and you decide you want to get in on it right away?

Nate: Yeah, I changed everything. You know, I sell cars worldwide. I mean, I took a day or two to do some research but, you know, finding how many cars were shipping out there. I just immediately grew very fast.

Andrew: So you got your own, you became a licensed dealer. You got your own license.

Nate: I did that still for two and a half to three years at the dealership.

Andrew: While you were working at the dealership, you had your license.

Nate: No, no, no. I still sold just for export and retail sales.

Andrew: On behalf of the dealership, you did this.

Nate: Yeah, just learning the business and whatnot.

Andrew: Gotcha. And so what did you learn on their dime while working for the dealership that your dad was the general manager of?

Nate: I think the biggest thing was getting the contacts. Because that’s the hardest part is getting people to send you 15, 100,000, 200,000 for a car or several cars, at a time. So that was, getting those contacts and I really wasn’t even looking to go out on my own. I’d be an entrepreneur before, just. I actually started my own detailing business when I was 18 and I did baseball cards when I was like 14/15. So, I kind of had that entrepreneurship in me anyway. But at that time, I just wasn’t looking to go out on my own. My customers actually kept saying, go out on your own, because I was locked to what I could sale.

Andrew: So, you could only sale what was in the dealership?

Nate: Right.

Andrew: I see.

Nate: So, they kept saying, you know, go out on your own. You can get other cars and stuff. So, I kind of, I kind of went out of my own. I actually left my desk at the dealership. They kind of hoped I’d come back. And so, you know, it didn’t turn out that way because it turned out. It just went right off, right from the beginning.

Andrew: I see. So, that’s when you got your own license. Was that a tough thing to do?

Nate: It’s not tough. It’s a pain in the butt. No, I have to abide by all the rules for a used car dealer that sales on the lot. And I don’t have a single car on the lot. I don’t even see but five cars a year and I don’t really see them.

Andrew: So, what’s a crazy rule that would apply to them that would make no sense to you, but you still have to live with it?

Nate: I have to have hours here. Be open so many hours per day and so many days per week. Which we’re here.

Andrew: I see. Here is, at the time, was home in your bedroom.

Nate: Right.

Andrew: So, you literally had to commit to being open that many hours even though as long as you’re at home, you’re home, as long as the web is up, you’re open.

Nate: Yeah, the biggest thing. I actually didn’t get my license until a couple of years later. From when I moved out to my own office. At least an office but probably I guess the craziest rule is you, I was in a multiplex building where there is eight different offices in there. When you have your own dealership, you have to have your own designated lot. So, your customers can come and view your cars and they, if it’s a multi-complex building, you know, it has to be chained, fenced in.

So, that people know that those are the cars that are for sale. And I told them. I don’t have any cars. So, like what do you want me to do? And he says, well, in the rules it says you have to have a minimum of one parking spot. I said, okay I have a used car license, a trader license and a motorcycle license. Do I have to have three spots? No you just need to have one. I said, okay I can’t park all three on there. They’re like, no, I know. Well I said that doesn’t make sense but okay.

Andrew: So you comply with the letter of the law as long as you have one spot and what do you have to do with that spot?

Nate: I literally put a fence up, like 6 foot by 8 foot, on this property. I had to ask the landlord if it was okay and we put it way back in the corner. And so you would pull on this lot and you would see this little fenced area in the back that people would just like what is over there? You know, what is that? It didn’t even make sense.

Andrew: In that corner is the government. It makes no sense, but we’re complying. And so were you selling cars without a license for a couple years while you were working from home?

Nate: Right. So, I was.

Andrew: Is that legal?

Nate: I think so. You know, I’ll be honest with you. The state, they recommended that I get a license. You know if I was in another state, there’s a broker’s license. There’s a wholesale license and there’s a used car license. In the state of Illinois, there’s only one because of politics, the reason why. So, if I lived in another state, I could have had a broker’s license and I wouldn’t have to abide by any of those rules about parking lots and stuff like that. Just a matter of what state you live in.

Andrew: All right. You didn’t have that many contacts. How did you suddenly get contacts for people who were buying cars overseas?

Nate: I relied on the ones that I had for a while and then just slowly, slowly getting them. One of the biggest things I did when I first started was actually, I stayed up late. I’ve always stayed up late. I still do. And I would, you know, because of the time difference. I would get on the phone, I would Google these dealers overseas and I’d get on the phone and I would call them and I’d say who I am, this is the service I can provide, and all that stuff. And, I never got one customer that way.

Andrew: For cold calling dealers and saying I can sale you cars for tens of thousands of dollars, you weren’t able to close a sale?

Nate: Never.

Andrew: All right. So what did work?

Nate: It was just over time. So, I had, you know, my let’s say, 20 contacts at the time. This is pre-recession Europe was on fire and I had a lot of good European and Russian contacts and that’s what…

Andrew: How did you get those contacts? I would have thought that what you did was brilliant! Just cold call dealers, dealers are people who want cars, of course. If that didn’t do it, how did you get those contacts otherwise?

Nate: Well I got them at the dealership, putting cars on eBay. When I started putting…

Andrew: Every time someone bought on eBay, they became another contact in your address book.

Nate: I might put a car on eBay and get three leads off of it!

Andrew: Even the people who aren’t buying became leads?

Nate: Correct. They just see it, and they’re like, “Hey, I know you have a black Escalade on there, do you have a black… Well, at the time I was a Cadillac-Chevrolet dealer so, you know, maybe you had a black… you know, I’m looking for a white one.” Well you just picked up a contact, you know. Off of that.

Andrew: I see. And how’d you make sure that they could contact you.

Nate: Oh I always add my cell phone on everything.

Andrew: I see.

Nate: I answer my phone all the time.

Andrew: To this day, on your website, I can see your cell phone, I can see your Skype name, is it the same Skype name you and I are calling on, I can’t tell exactly?

Nate: Yep.

Andrew: It is. So that’s it. By just putting it everywhere. And once they call you, how do you stay in touch with them? Because my guess is if you’ve got three leads coming in from an eBay sale, two of them are not buying right away, even though they’re interested. How do you stay in touch with them so when you have something they are interested in you’re there in their lives?

Nate: Just making sure that you know what they want. I mean, for me if they were calling me, and like you said they weren’t purchasing that car. They were calling me because they were looking for something. Maybe they weren’t for that black one, but they were wanting a white one like I said, or whatever it is. I found them a car, I didn’t wait around and, you know for weeks to maybe if I got one.

Andrew: I see, then you started hunting. That’s when the cold calling worked. Calling local dealers, looking online, that kind of thing?

Nate: Yeah when I was at the dealer we would, you know, use the auctions, you know, dealer trade. We had our own resources to get cars. Yeah, I would just… Relentless, I would find them a car. I would make sure that I found them a car.

Andrew: So were you allowed to take all those connections you made at the dealership out of the dealership?

Nate: Yeah, there was no… Actually I had worked at another dealership before I had moved. And I brought all those contacts with it. And that business, I think it’s like banking or other businesses you know, you have your contacts you bring them with you.

Andrew: I see. All right, you go out on your own, does it immediately take off, or is it a lot harder than you expect?

Nate: No, it immediately takes off. Like I said, I’m one third in almost you know, like, am I going back to the dealership, and you know I kind of announced that I was going out on my own and it’s just. It’s crazy, and all this stuff. You know, I want Fords, I want you know BMWs, I want Porsches. Whatever it may be. So two weeks into it I called my Mom and I said, “I need help!” And she’d been a secretary for a while, you know. Like I said we had this small town. She got secretary of the year for the… Washingtonian secretary or whatever. She’s a good secretary and a good… That was her niche so I brought her in. And that was the bedroom of my house, a ten by ten room. And we did a little over two years there. But just the two of us.

Andrew: And your last year there, how much money did you guys do in revenue?

Nate: We did $26 million in…

Andrew: $26 million dollars!?

Nate: Out of the bedroom.

Andrew: I cash flow an issue where you have to front the money to buy the car for someone who’s eventually going to pay you, and sometimes they don’t pay you? Is that a problem?

Nate: Not paying is not a problem. They want the cars.

Andrew: So they will pay for it.

Nate: There’s customers that pre-pay all the way. You know, I invoice them, they pay me, I go pay the dealer, or whoever I’m getting it from. So basically there’s no cash out of pocket. There’s other people that want financing. And you know I’m limited on those, because I don’t have so much cash flow and if I had millions in the bank I would grow two to three times as fast.

Andrew: What kind of financing do they want?

Nate: Letter of credit. Are you familiar with those?

Andrew: Yeah. And that’s only until… Actually, no. Letters of credit last a long time. They could last years. Or they could…

Nate: They could, but there’s different ways. I mean in this market, six to eight weeks.

Andrew: I see. So it’s basically just enough time for the car to get in, and for them to move it off the lot and to get paid by their customer.

Nate: Not even that, it’s basically when it ships on the water. As soon as it ships you get the bill writing, and then you turn it in and get paid.

Andrew: I see, yeah.

Nate: It just takes that long by the time they buy it, and you get it to port. You get the paperwork figured out, it actually gets on a boat. You know, you get the bill ready and submit it to the bank. That takes another week. All those days add up. It takes six weeks.

Andrew: And that’s with a bill of credit. With a line of credit

Nate: Letter of credit.

Andrew: Letter of credit. Excuse me.

Nate: Right.

Andrew: But without you get paid up front.

Nate: I get paid up front or maybe they give me a deposit and I ship it to a warehouse here in the United States. Once it’s received at the warehouse they pay me in full.

Andrew: And then they take care of the shipping from there.

Nate: Correct.

Andrew: What kind of people end up buying these cars? I’m looking at your site. It’s not a $20,000 car. You are not selling Prius as far as I can see. You told me before we started roughly $70,000 on average is what you are selling as the price of a car, right?

Nate: Correct.

Andrew: So who is the end buyer? Are we talking about really rich people overseas who can afford to have whatever they want brought over?

Nate: Typically. I think so. I don’t get too much involved with the buyers but they are definitely premiums. In America we think cars are expensive. We have a two or three percent import tax here. It’s real cheap. In most countries, forty would be really low. One hundred, one hundred ten percent would be not uncommon.

Andrew: That means the price of a car would be twice what it is in the U.S. but then is it twice as much as what you’re selling? So if it’s now $70,000 on your site it would be not inconceivable for the end customer to pay over $140,000?

Nate: Correct.

Andrew: Wow. So it’s got to be really wealthy people who are doing this.

Nate: Correct.

Andrew: You mention that you stay up late at night. How much of a challenge is that?

Nate: Yes. I’ve been doing it for a really long time so . . . I don’t know. It’s not too much of a challenge. I usually work through the day. Go home around 6:00, maybe. Spend some time with the family and then come back in at 10 or 11:00 at night and work until one, two, three.

Andrew: So they all go to sleep and you’re up past midnight.

Nate: Yes.

Andrew: So you have a family. Did you meet your wife after or before you started?

Nate: I met my wife one week before I started my business.

Andrew: So she had one week to get to know you and then off after midnight. Was it hard to keep the relationship going like that?

Nate: I used to work 7:00 in the morning until 10:00 at night and she thought it might be a good idea that I spend time with her and so I compromised and that’s why I go home at 5:00 or 6:00.

Andrew: I see.

Nate: And then go back later.

Andrew: Why not work from Europe then? You don’t really need to do much in the U.S. in person. Your spot on the lot with a gate can still survive there. The authorities can feel comfortable that everything is okay.

Nate: I can work anywhere. Me being here helps.

Andrew: How?

Nate: Just hands on. I’m here and people are coming in asking me questions all day. My staff.

Andrew: So as long as you’re in the same city as your staff or the same room but they don’t all have to be in the U.S. even.

Nate: Right.

Andrew: I see. Who is the first person you hired?

Nate: My mom would have been my first person.

Andrew: After your mom.

Nate: I hired an accountant in January 2011. That’s when I moved into the office.

Andrew: Was bookkeeping tough when you have all these different monies coming in and out?

Nate: It is actually. It’s a lot more complicated than people think. You think a car transaction, well that’s simple. You’ve got one money in, one money out. That’s pretty simple but it’s not. There’s land logistics, [??] logistics, FedEx and of course you’ve got wire fees and transportation fees. That’s why I said that but on average an average deal probably has ten to twelve transactions money wise.

Andrew: Yes. And they’re not neat where they are all coming in via stripe payment the way they would be for me. It’s wires . . .

Nate: Yes. And so if I get a wire, say that deposit wire, we do factory order stuff on new stuff too so they may order a car and three months later it comes in. The car comes in, they send me a deposit. One deal could take six months money wise as far as the first money came in to the last money is done.

Andrew: I see. No wonder you needed a full-time person on staff. All right. Everything seems great right now and then something out of your control hit and I want to talk about it in a moment and how you reacted and what happened to your business but first I have to tell people what I promised at the top of the interview that I would tell them that it is if they have hits coming to their site and they want to convert it into email addresses that they can use to communicate with the people who hit their sites.

So, they can stay connected and hopefully build a relationship and then later on sell but not try and sell immediately. Well, if that’s you, the person who is listening to me, I’ve got a page that you can add to your website, like that. Listen. Right there. Like that to your site even if you don’t know any programming, even if all you have is a simple WordPress site. In fact even if you don’t have a site, you can do it. I’ve got a webpage that converts like crazy. That explains to people what you’re about and explains to them why they should trust you with their email address. It’s worked for me for years and I want to make it available to you as a template that you can edit so you can change the name, makes it to your own company name.

You’ll see exactly what to do. It’s really plug and chug. And I’m making it available right now for only a buck and if you want, all you’ve got to do is go to Andrewswelcomegate.com. Andrewswelcomegate.com. It’s converting for me. It’s converting for other people who are using it, but frankly if you don’t love it, there’s so many other pages that you can use that will come as part of your package if you just go to Andrewswelcomegate.com. Here it is one last time. Write it down because at some point I’m going to have to take it off and if you want it, you should grab it now. Andrewswelcomegate.com.

You’re a salesman, Nate, what did you think of that sales pitch?

Nate: It was good.

Andrew: Yeah. I do feel as if it was one of my better ones. It’s hard for me to have a conversation and then flip into sales pitch mode and then come back to conversation mode and not make it awkward. And then, you are not engage for like the minute that I’m there. You know. And I’m also in the back of my head going, wait a minute. Nate, did not start typing in. Whenever I do it especially well, people type it in. Why didn’t he type it in? Why didn’t you type it in?

Nate: Just because I didn’t want to be like this.

Andrew: I see. All right. And I wonder if it even is helpful for you. You’re not trying to convert your people into email addresses.

Nate: No. Like I said, the leads, I do advertise on Google. And I have gotten some leads off of the website, but those are the hardest to get. You know. It’s the [???] I use and there.

Andrew: I see your ads. Here’s a key word. You’re vying for the keyword. USA Used Cars for Export. And the ad says export USA autos, all makes and models, direct, deal direct and save. That’s it. Very basic stuff. You’re spending only a few hundred bucks a month. Right?

Nate: $300 a month. I only have one ad. I’m real picky on what people have to type in. Because if I use the word export, it would come up, you know, maybe I type it in or car first. You know or vehicle or anything like that. So, they actually have to type in exactly that phrase for mine to come up.

Andrew: I’m guessing it pays off for you, right?

Nate: It does actually.

Andrew: Yeah, if you’re spending that little and you’re targeting that tightly, you’re bound to do well.

Nate: The sites you’re on right now, it’s not very updated. I, you know there’s, I like to have pictures on every car like I told you earlier in the interview that pictures are the big thing. It’s just time wise, I just haven’t been able to keep up with it.

Andrew: I think it’s your platform that’s not rocking. I think that you have a platform that makes it very hard for you to add pictures. So, it’s a pain in the butt. So, that’s why a lot of these, a lot of these cars don’t have photos next to them. You’re actually on, I don’t know, what’s dealer.com that you’re using them?

Nate: It’s easy because they do a lot of dealerships. Basically, if I want to post a Camaro online that we talked about, I type in the VIN number and it just preloads everything right off that VIN number.

Andrew: Immediately.

Nate: All I have to do is say what color it is. It takes you five minutes to upload a car.

Andrew: I see. I see. That’s how you get the stuff on there. You’re site is not run on WordPress but I can’t tell what it’s run on. Is the whole thing run on dealer.com?

Nate: Yes. It’s all dealer.com.

Andrew: Oh, I see. They even did your design.

Nate: Yeah. Everything. I just paid them a service amount.

Andrew: I’ve never heard of it. I see. I see and that’s why it’s harder for you. You get a lot of convenience but you also have some limits.

Nate: Correct.

Andrew: Got it. All right.

Nate: For me it works. It’s just a small amount of advertising.

Andrew: I see and as long as you’re not spending a lot of money on adds, it doesn’t really matter and then all the hits come directly to your homepage, don’t they?

Nate: Correct.

Andrew: You know it’s so interesting that that this to me, I don’t know dealer.com and I would love to interview them. It sounds like they are doing really well, but I feel like what they’re giving you is not the best product out there, especially when you compare it to what Shopify or Big Commerce do for online retailers, but they probably don’t have a lot of competition. So, they could do extremely well by helping you, give you something that just works well but not great.

Nate: I have a fair amount of competition. Reynolds and there’s all kinds of car websites for car dealerships.

Andrew: I see.

Nate: For me it’s not a great fit, but there’s nothing that would be a great fit other than making my own.

Andrew: That’s what I’m saying. You shouldn’t have to make your own, but I’m looking at your site here. It shouldn’t be that the Buick Lacrosse Sedan doesn’t have a photo.

Nate: Right.

Andrew: Right?

Nate: It’s just timing though.

Andrew: Yeah.

Nate: Somebody’s got to put them up. So, I mean, and you don’t want to have …

Andrew: You can put it up. I don’t want to get on their case, but frankly it shouldn’t be you. You’re right. You should just say here’s the VIN number and boom, everything gets popped in. I see that a lot of details get popped in but not photos.

Oh, you’re saying you have to add the photos yourself.

Nate: Yeah, because otherwise you’re just going to get stock photos.

Andrew: Right.

Nate: People want to see the actual car that they’re buying. So that’s just something you’re always going to have to do.

Andrew: I’m going to put this out to someone in my audience who’s into software. They should really look into this whole space and see if they could do better because frankly I accept that if you don’t take photos, stock photos could be a problem. But it’s better to have a stock photo than have a picture of a camera with a cross through it. This photo doesn’t exist, right?

And if you’re doing tens of millions of dollars in business, to spend a few extra bucks a month on a site that helps you convert, even if it gets you one more customer it would be good. I’m not saying that it’s your fault, I’m saying this is an opportunity for someone in my audience who’s interested in picking up a different kind of business, something outside of the usual.

Let’s imitate Instagram or let’s imitate whatever chat program seems to be hot. Anyway, Nate …

Nate: I did create my own website for my customers. I would get so many emails. I still get about 150-200 emails a day, but I would get so many emails of customers just wanting an update. You’re talking about eight hours, 12 hours, 14 hours difference. If the customer emailed me in the middle of the night and maybe I happened to be out and I couldn’t quite get the answer sold them directly, they’re waiting basically 24 hours to get an answer.

And for me it just wasn’t good enough. You know, I wanted to get to them faster, so I created a website …

Andrew: That’s MarshalGroupLLC.com?

Nate: Correct.

Andrew: You have a user name and password, and when they go in there they get to see where their car is and where their deal is.

Nate: Correct.

Andrew: I see.

Nate: As soon as that cars gets picked up from, let’s say, Illinois and it’s going to New Jersey, it’s shipped out there. There’s an update on when that car was picked up, when it was delivered, you know, when it gets to the warehouse.

Andrew: How did you do that? How did you get that built?

Nate: Through Bradley University they had like three of their students one semester like a project for their thing. So it started that way. Then I ended up hiring one student at the end to finish it because, I don’t remember how long, over a year to finish it. I got a lot of time in it. So he’s still working on it a little here and there, not too much.

Andrew: So the students did it for free as a class project, and then you hired the person who … you hired someone to make it work for you?

Nate: One of the students, right.

Andrews: I see. Yeah, that’s a pretty cool site. I can’t really get much access to it even on my tricks that didn’t work. It’s clearly locked down well. Usually people lock it down, but they don’t know like an easy back door that I can get through. In this case, I can’t.

How did you end up with Marshal Group as a name?

Nate: That was a total accident as well. Like I said, I didn’t know I was going to go out on my own and start this company. Like I told you earlier, with the gray market basically if you buy a new car here in the United States and you title it and register it, it makes it a used car, right? So everybody knows. So we created a company. I was actually selling to a dealership in Canada called Marshall GMC.

So I just made this company up to basically sell through the cars so that we could register them and then ship them out as a used car. And then once I went out on my own, I had this company so I used it. The name means nothing, so that’s why I export U.S. autos because then people can relate to actually what this business is.

Andrew: I see. All right. As I said earlier, things are going swimmingly. You end up not taking the desk that the dealership held for you for a while hoping you would come back and be one of their top salesmen because you were doing really well selling your own cars or selling cars that you bought in the U.S. overseas.

And then starting 2007 continuing to 2008 the recession hit. It wasn’t just limited to Illinois. It wasn’t limited to the U.S. It was all over the world and even the rich were hit. How did it impact you?

Nate: It shut the faucet off for sure. So it was one year almost to the date after I started my business so doing really well and then basically just turned everything off so it was about July 2009 before I started really selling. I sold a few, two or four cars a month in between but really limited. So for me, I like to be a bit of a saver so I actually had saved what I had made in that first year and so I took advantage of the real estate market because it was so far down. So I went and bought some rental properties.

Andrew: How much money did you save at that point? How much was in the bank?

Nate: I probably had about $200 – $250.

Andrew: Okay. And so how much of it were you willing to risk on real estate?

Nate: I actually figured out a way where I didn’t have to put much money out so in the end I didn’t need the money.

Andrew: What did you do?

Nate: Well at the time you could buy a house and I was buying them that needed to be fixed up. So you could actually buy a house. Let’s say it’s $100,000 and you have to put $50,000 in it. Well you would get an appraisal for a completed project and it was worth $200,000. The bank would give you up to 80% so you didn’t have to have any money out. So I had these rental properties then they did this . . . it was an $8,000 tax credit if you were a first time buyer. Do you remember that? It only ran for maybe six months or something.

Andrew: Okay.

Nate: After the recession they were trying to promote people to buy houses so if you were a first time buyer you got an $8,000 tax credit. So I looked into it and found out that the contractor deed also counted as well as just a regular contract. So I took my rental properties and took them into contracted deeds and I got people, they had to put a minimum of $2,000 down so people would put down anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 plus the $8,000 I got from the tax credit so I was getting $10,000 to $18,000 down and . . .

Andrew: Wait. I’ve got to break this down because I’m not following and I want to make sure that I understand because this sounds like something Michael Lewis is going to write a book about soon. The original thing that you said that you buy a house and then you make some improvements and you end up having a house that’s worth more than you paid for it and so you can get more from the bank for it, that is what Michael Lewis wrote about in the Big Short. That is where the banks were going a little bit crazy and the market was overheated and that came to an end in roughly October 2007, right?

Nate: Yes. But the FCIC didn’t really crack down. They didn’t know what to crack down on yet right away.

Andrew: You even after the recession hit, you were able to still take advantage of that. To increase the value of your property by making some improvements. So there you still do need to put a down payment but when you refinance you get some of that back.

Nate: Yes. I was actually getting it where I didn’t have to put any money down. I would say I’m buying this house for $100. I’m going to put this amount. These are the upgrades that I’m going to do. I’m going to spend $50,000 and the appraiser would say okay it’s going to be worth $200,000 and I literally didn’t have to put any money down.

Andrew: Ah. You could just take that appraisal into the bank and the appraisal wasn’t for what the house was worth today. It was soon after Nate does his thing it will be worth so much more. This is how much money you could give Nate as a mortgage and that money happens to be 80% at least of what you have to pay anyway. I got it. Wow.

Nate: This is what got America in trouble. I agree.

Andrew: Yes. I was going to say.

Nate: Right after the recession you could still do it for six months or so before they finally realized, “Oh this is what caused the recession” so banking rules didn’t change for a while. Now you can’t, I don’t think you can do that.

Andrew: No. I don’t think you can but all right. I get that you took advantage of it after that started to die down but what about the people, before we get to the next step, the people who you were renting that place to could still afford the rents?

Nate: Well I only had one rental property at the time.

Andrew: I see. So this house that you did this with that we are talking about having it appraised for more than it was worth at the time of the appraisal, that was only one house and is that the place you lived in or a place that you rented out?

Nate: No. It was actually two houses down from mine. I just rented it out but . . .

Andrew: I see. And so the [??]

Nate: The car business slowed down but the thing of it is the renting market is still really, really good because the banks are still not lending really.

Andrew: Right. So in some ways it became a little bit better because people couldn’t afford to buy their own houses and they settled in to rent. Okay. So that’s how you got a tenant. What’s this next thing that you did with the $8,000 that the government gave out?

Nate: That was a tax credit for first time buyers so like I said [??] researching it and the Contract-for-Deed [??], so I just asked my renters would you like to buy the house on Contract-for-Deed. You can put a couple thousand dollars down and the Government’s going to give you $8,000, so you can put $10,000 down so you can end up affording to buy the house instead of renting.

Andrew: So even though they were tenants renting from you, if you set up a Contract where it was rent to own, then the Government considered it an ownership, a first time home buy, and they said we’re going to give you $8,000. And so, you went to them and you said the Government is going to give you $8,000 if you sign this rent to own agreement and, all you have to do is add another $2,000. And then what happens with the $2,000 addition?

Nate: Well that’s just a down payment [??], a deposit.

Andrew: It’s a down payment to you. So they were giving a down payment to you plus paying you rent?

Nate: Well, they were, they were Contract-for-Deed, so they were paying a mortgage actually.

Andrew: What’s a Contract-for-Deed, I don’t know that.

Nate: Well, it’s basically if a bank, well, [??] their legal definition might be better than mine.

Andrew: Okay, here we go, there are different ways. Land Contract, Contract-for-Deed is a Contract between a seller and a buyer of real property in which the seller provides financing. OK, I’ve heard it called a seller financing. OK, the seller provides financing to the buyer for an agreed upon purchase…So basically, you’re saying buy the place from me, the down payment is going to come to you from the Government, plus a little bit more, and I just collect your mortgage payments instead of collecting your rent. And at the end of the mortgage payments, you own the place, whereas if you rent it from me…I see, Okay.

Nate: The thing of it is, and I even put an ad on Craigslist and just said, find the house that you want, I’ll finance it. The banks won’t, I will. And so, and then even I was still able to get the financing from the bank.

Andrew: And they would finance this deal for you?

Nate: The bank would finance it too, so I literally put, still put no money down, because between the $10,000-$18,000 they were putting down, and like I said, we’re in an area where $80,000-$120,000 gets you a 1,000 square foot ranch with a basement, that’s our market here. So they’re putting 10%-15% down, and I was able to not put any money down, or maybe put a little money down, maybe $2,000-$3,000 tops…

Andrew: In addition to what they were giving you.

Nate: …Right. To get down to the 80% that the bank would give.

Andrew: How many of these did you do.

Nate: I only got seven before that program ended. Had it gone longer, I would have gotten a lot more. I put an ad on Craigslist, and people were calling like crazy. Because I was literally like, go pick out the house you want and I’ll finance it. And you know, certain things, maybe I wouldn’t buy, but people were just calling me like crazy.

Andrew: And did everyone pay or did anyone default.

Nate: All but two have defaulted.

Andrew: All but two defaulted? So then what happens to your finances from that.

Nate: Well, I still have the house so I just take and rent it back out. But the deposit they put down, that $10,000-$18,000, stays with the bank, for myself.

Andrew: I see, so you’re not out, you ended up doing well even though they defaulted.

Nate: Honestly, I mean, you don’t want people to default, but I make the most money if they default because I got to keep their deposit.

Andrew: Better you than the bank. So, wow, so that’s what you did to keep yourself busy when your car business took a bit hit.

Nate: Yes.

Andrew: Did you have any friends who you could talk this over with or any mentors that you could say, listen, I have this idea but it seems too good to be true, there’s no way they left a hole this big, somebody’s got to figure it out what I’m about to do, does it make sense?

Nate: I didn’t really, I don’t know if I called my Accountant or not, I just Googled and I found the Government’s website and it said Contract-for-Deed [??] and I did all the right research myself. At best I might have called my Accountant, but I don’t even think I did that.

Andrew: Wow, this is amazing, I’ve never heard this before. Do you still own the properties now, or actually do you still…kind of the bank owns the properties now, right?

Nate: Correct, I still own all of the properties, even the ones that defaulted because [??]…

Andrew: [??] I’m sorry I interrupted you a couple of times, what were you saying there.

Nate: No problem. I still have…the ones that they defaulted I still have, and then I just rent them out.

Andrew: I see. And you want to stay in real estate from what I understand from your conversation with April, you want to grow your real estate properties.

Nate: I really like real estate, I want to do some development and stuff as well, so the car business keeps me a little busy, and I like the car business too. It’s something I definitely want to grow.

Andrew: This is, April Dykeman, I’m talking about, producer here who did a pre interview with, Nate, and you told her I want to start a sub division. Why a sub division?

Nate: I just think it’d be a neat project. I found some good land. I’ve done some research on. It’s a wooden lot with a lake. I think pretty much any part of the world people like that stuff. For around her it’s less common. I just think it’d be a lot of fun to go through the whole project, and (inaudible)

Andrew: I’m seeing where this baseball card trading you did as a kid. The detailing business that you started at 18, how this all plays out later on in life, and how you got here. It’s actually really interesting to see this whole thing play out. Do you feel like that helped? That that was part of your training, selling baseball cards, or trading baseball cards?

Nate: Yeah. I was so little. My mom had to take me there. I’d set up a booth. I couldn’t even drive. . . . [??] . . .

Andrew: At those baseball card shows.

Nate: Right. Which back in the day those were popular. Now they’re pretty much dead. You’d go to these conventions, and there would be 100 different baseball brokers there. Not just baseball, but card brokers. You’d just sit. People would come around. You’ buy, and sell. I loved that business. Oddly enough, I was so ambitious I think I was 14, or 15, and I was doing okay. I wasn’t making a lot of money. I was 15. I was making hundreds of dollars.

It was a big deal to me. I actually wanted to go, and open a retail shop. I really liked this. I think I was 14, or 15, like I said. I got this guy on the phone who’s leasing this building. I’m, like, hold on one second. I go, and I run into my parents. I got this place. I kind did some research on it. I’m wanting to rent this place. The funny part of it is that same place that I called when I was 14, or 15, when I was 27, and rented for this business it’s the same building.

Andrew: Oh, wow. This building as a kid you were dreaming of getting. Talking to your parents about how you could potentially get it, you ended up in that building.

Nate: Yeah. Nine, or so years later. The building was not nice. It wasn’t like it was a great building. It was just an odd coincidence.

Andrew: I think there was a section of the that show, The Secret, about that. It’s an amazing life. Congratulations on having done all this. I’m amazed. I could’ve done a whole interview on the real estate part. Doesn’t it bug you. You’re so smart. You’re so clever. You’re doing 15 million dollars a year in sales, and you can’t even take at least one of those millions of dollars every year for profit. Not even half a percent.

Nate: Yeah. I don’t know. I actually have a G.E.D.. I don’t any kind of education. I can’t complain to be honest with you.

Andrew: But you have ambition. I see you went to Washington Community High School. According to LinkedIn that’s the end of it for you.

Nate: I didn’t even finish there.

Andrew: But that means you’re even hungrier. One of the first people who I ever talked to, who I reached out as one of my heroes was guy called, Ace Greenberg [SP]. He ran Bear Sterns, Warren Buffet in the Forward to Ace Greenberg’s book said, you do everything better than me. He was an arbitrager. He used to say he liked to hire people with no education, who have not no education, but have this streets smart education.

Hungry, and poor, and determined, and he said those were the most ambitious, most productive brokers he could hire for Bear Sterns. It doesn’t mean that because you don’t have education that you don’t have this desire. In fact, you have clearly shown in this interview that you do. Doesn’t it bug you? Don’t you say, you know what? Half a percent. How to get another half of percent here?

Nate: Yeah. If you do the fundings the letter credits, if you offer that type of service you can actually make more money, as well.

Andrew: I see. Because if you lend money, you’re going to make more money than you do on the cars.

Nate: Correct. They allow me to make (inaudible) for providing that service. There are some ways to grow that a little bit, but it’s a competitive market.

Andrew: Really competitive. I can’t even image that if you sent thank you cards, or Christmas cards once a year to your customers that you’re going to end up doing that much more business. Can you? Can you do stuff like that?

Nate: No. I don’t think so. I just . . .

Andrew: It’s do you have my card? Do you have it at the right price? Can I trust you with my money?

Nate: Right.

Andrew: And will be there at 2:00 a.m. in the morning?

Nate: Yeah. Europe and Russia, like I say, was a great market during the recession. That market is still really soft. Obviously Russia is bad right now. But Brazil was real popular for a while. Now the Far East is real popular. So although I deal with the same customers over and over, the market around the world is changed. So me to flatter one customer, you know, a whole bunch and spent money on them or whatever, you know, I don’t know.

I’ve actually never been overseas to see a customer. They come here to see me.

Andrew: see. Actually I think I read, what was that? There was an article about you on Bradley University’s website where you said you didn’t ever really travel. Did you ever travel outside of the U.S.? It didn’t sound like it from that article.

Nate: I’ve been to Canada. That’s it.

Andrew: That was it! And here you are doing business all over the world.

Nate: Yeah.

Andrew: Well, I ‘m going to see this guy, Alex Dontis who introduced us. He hopefully will come to the office in a couple of days. I invited him to Scotch Night. I’m going to thank him in person for introducing me to you. I don’t know how we would have connected otherwise, and I’m glad that we did.

Anyone out there who’s listening, I’ve been saying for a long time you guys should do your own interviews. Look at how much fricking fun this is. First of all, you get to ask outrageous, obnoxious questions that people will walk away from you at a party if you ask. And instead they love you for it, an audience loves you for it.

And second you get to know really great people and learn from them. And boy, I’ve learned so much from you, Nate. If anyone out there wants to learn, I’m putting together something to help people do interviews like this. I really believe that you should be interviewing people you admire. You should be doing interviews like this, and I’m not exactly sure yet today how I’m going to do it.

But go to InterviewYourHeroes.com, something will be up by the time this interview is up, IntervewYourHeroes.com. I’m such a believer in this.

All right. Nate, thank you so much for doing this. What’s a good followup for you? I imagine that there are a lot of people in the audience who are really fascinated by you, but you don’t blog, you don’t go to these conferences. You’re too busy working on your business. So what’s a good way for someone who said, “Hey, I got a lot out of this” to follow up with you.

Nate: Email.

Andrew: Email.

Nate: They can email me. I answer emails.

Andrew: What’s a good email address?

Nate: Nate@MarshalGroupLLC.com. Marshal just one “L” though.

Andrew: Nate@MarshalGroupLLC.com. Nate, thank you so much for doing this . If you got anything of value, please don’t start by asking something. Don’t start by trying to even do a deal, just say thank you. Just introduce yourself first, and then good things will happen.

I say that, Nate, because a lot of people in my audience are really like, let’s get right to the deal and then end up hitting you with all kinds of long emails. What I want them to do is just short. Just, “Hey, Nate, saw you on Mixergy, thanks. Really good stuff.” And then you can take it from there guys.

I’m going to do it right now, say, Nate, thank you for being here on Mixergy.

Nate: Thank you, Andrew. I appreciate you having me.


  • Alex Dantas

    Thank you Nate! Amazing story… you are officially now one of my heroes :)

  • Thanks Nate. I just hope that you’ll replace Comics Sans font from your company website *grin*

  • Thanks Alex! Thanks for your help landing this interview!

  • Rick,
    I have seen articles on Comics Sans being the most hated font, haha. Visit the site again soon, maybe it will change :)

  • gary cambridge

    Damn! Learned a great deal from this kid. The pieces on real-estate were excellent. “I actually have a G.E.D” that speaks volumes Nate, a true inspiration for those frustrated with the school system, but possess ambition to do amazing work. Thanks Andrew, another home run…

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  • janis

    no it’s not all ridge people..

    If you look at dodge ram you can put this on your company as a cost (company car).. + don’t need to pay tax because it’s working car/van.. there a special rules for them so full options dodge ram 1500 sport cost about 42000 – 45000euro that’s about 600 – 900 euro a month for the car over 5 year… so that’s cheap if you look at a t5 transport full option it cost about 65000euro..

  • K. Jenkins

    What a great insight into how entrepreneurs become who they are and do what they do.

  • Gary, I don’t recommend people quit school but it’s just how life worked for me. In my case street smarts keeps me going :) Thanks for watching!

  • Frankie

    great interview some many questions could have been asked….thanks Nate & Andrew

  • Arie at Mixergy

    Hey Frankie–what questions would you have like to hear?

  • Yuriy

    Check used cars for export at https://www.auto4export.com

  • c

    really helpful to read this great interview, I am a foreign dealership and I would like to speak with you Nate if you doesn’t mind, my email is xiao2bsam@gmail.thanks a lot Andrew and Nate

  • sky

    so funny how over here exporting a car become a good business and legal, but other site keeps saying its illegal. but i’m glad someone finally can walk up to the public and tells about us.

  • Bobo Long

    true. alot of exporters have had to go through some big headaches the last two years. but…. thankfully 99% of that b.s. is out of the way now. full speed ahead. ive been in car sales but just now going to get into the niche market of exporting. give me a buzz with any questions or how we can help each other. :)

  • US Advocate

    Nate,Great interview. I commend you for building this business from scratch. Great website and inventory. Our company used to manufacture OEM parts worldwide for the US majors and foreign majors . Maybe we could collaborate. I still work with many overseas groups. exportservice@comcast.net

  • Nick F

    I know this thread is pretty old, but I was hoping you may still get this. I have been in the exporting business for a few years, and I am looking to expand. Bobo, if you have any interest, please feel free to shoot me an email.

  • Nate Kunst

    Hi Nick,
    Interested in speaking with you regarding exporting luxury vehicles. I have large networks in Florida, Virginia, Texas and Michigan. If time permits, give me a call. Enjoy your weekend.

    Nathan
    786.817.8729

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